4
| Crime |

Ethan Couch is Headed to Rehab. Prosecutors Hope Case "Highlights the Dangers" of DWI.

^
Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

Ethan Couch, the 16-year-old from Keller who drunkenly ran over four pedestrians, then got probation after pleading affluenza, was back in court yesterday to learn the conditions of his sentence.

Reporters were barred from the courtroom by District Judge Jean Boyd, who, according to the Tarrant County DA's office, ordered Couch to spend an undisclosed amount of time at an undisclosed "lock-down residential treatment facility" in an undisclosed location, for which his parents will foot the bill.

For the duration of his 10-year probation, Couch is forbidden from driving, drinking alcohol, and using illegal drugs. If he violates any of those, or other, conditions, he could be sentenced to prison for up to 10 years.

See also: Keller Teen Gets Probation for Drunken Wreck that Killed 4, Pissing Off Just About Everyone

The families of Couch's victims are still mad. Prosecutors, who pushed for Couch to serve prison time, are putting their best spin on a disappointing outcome.

Riley Shaw, chief of the DA's juvenile division, put it like this in a press release: "It is our hope that the attention drawn by this case highlights the dangers associated with driving while intoxicated, and will ensure that a tragedy such as this one will never happen again."

A harsher sentence might have sent a stronger message, but Boyd handed Shaw a lemon. Can't blame the man for trying to make a little lemonade.

Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.